Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
This week’s NYC Scene Report features R&B artist Dounia getting her “Shyne” on, a pop gem from Kiri T, the “tender pop” of Strawberry Runners, and a drag queen inspire rock song from Native Sun.
* If you’ve been diggin’ the self-love, and positive vibes, of artists like Alessia Cara, NYC’s indie R&B scene has a new name to add to your playlist – Dounia.
At only 19 years old, Dounia is proving to be a confident, mature beyond her years, artist who is unafraid to be herself, most notably on her latest single, “Shyne” (which has nothing to do with the former Bad Boy rapper of the same name).
“Shyne” sees the Queens, by way of Morocco, artist singing about pursuing her dreams, and the expectations, along with the realities, of doing so. The highs, the lows, the fact that dreams take time – Dounia’s goals are lofty, and she’s clearly ready to put the work in.
Check out the video for “Shyne,” and vibe to this inspiring up and coming artist.
* After featuring her video for “Rearview Mirror” here last month, and seeing her live a few weeks ago, I have to say, I’m a fan of NYC pop artist Kiri T. Her latest single, “Better,” is another pop gem, and positions her as an artist on the verge of breaking through in a major way.
Kiri T describes the inspiration behind the song, saying, “I was in a relationship where this person only professed his love towards me when he's under influence. While he was very sweet and caring when he was high, he was emotionally abusive when sober.”
She adds that when it comes to the video for “Better,” “The lyrics are about all the destructive moments, and the bitter and sweet feelings I recalled from the experience, which we reflected in the overall aesthetic of the video. The blooming flowers, and burning petals, display how beauty can be destructive at the same time.”
Click play, and crank this one up.
* Strawberry Runners – the project of of indie songwriter Emi Night – will be releasing their debut EP, In The Garden, on October 20th, and it’s a release the band describes as “tender pop.”
This may make you wonder, what the heck is “tender pop?” Well, if you take traditional pop, slow it down a bit, and incorporate elements of singer-songwriter fare, you get tender pop.
To get a listen to some tender pop, click play on Strawberry Runners’ “Brother.” I promise it doesn’t include Hulk Hogan yelling “brother” at all. Although, if they ever decide to do a remix …
* On very rare occasions a song’s description can be so interesting that I’m immediately all in on wanting to give it a listen. Such was the case with Brooklyn-based rock band Native Sun’s latest single, “Sister.”
The band explained the inspiration for the song, saying, “‘Sister’ tells the story of the drag queens that used to take over Don Pedro’s on Monday nights and create the most genuine and bold performance art I’d seen in my life. I was living around the corner from the bar, as the song says. It simply serves the purpose of capturing a time and place, what I would see, and the diverse characters that would appear throughout the night.”
Native Sun added “Sister” – which will be on the band’s debut EP, Songs Born From Love and Hate, due out October 20th – is, “Dedicated to the eternal creatures of the night searching for the world's love and acceptance.”
Give this awesome rock song a spin!
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.